According to new regulations announced by Japan on Friday, Olympic-bound athletes and support staff departing from India for Tokyo will be subjected to tougher quarantine upon arrival.
“The Japanese government, like many governments, has put in place specific rules for travellers from selected countries, where different variants of COVID-19 have been identified, to try and control the virus and stop the spread. The current list of such countries has been divided into two groups,” said a communication from the Tokyo organisers.
Athletes and officials from India, Afghanistan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka will be tested every day for the next seven days before leaving for Japan. Athletes from these countries will be unable to physically engage with anyone from another team, delegation, or country for the first three days after arriving in Tokyo. They, like all other competitors in the Games Village, will be tested daily.
Many of India’s medal contenders are training abroad and will go directly to Tokyo from their current training locations. The shooters are Italy practising in Italy, and the boxers are scheduled to travel in a few days. Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia, as well as renowned javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, is in Europe and will fly straight to Tokyo.
The majority of track and field athletes would fly out of India, including long jumper Murali Sreeshankar, steeplechaser Avinash Sable, table tennis players, archers, and rowers, among others. The rules are less stringent for athletes from Bangladesh, Egypt, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. They will be evaluated for three days before travel, but they will be able to physically interact with or train with athletes from other countries once they arrive.